Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
SOUTH Africans have done their utmost to welcome visitors to our country for the World Cup.
Apart from unscrupulous traffic officers shaming us and taking advantage of uninformed tourists and criminals breaking into hotel rooms, the behaviour of citizens have generally been faultless.
You would swear some among us had attended finishing school. The level of decorum and social grace has been utterly impressive. When it comes to infrastructure it is also incredible what we achieved in a short time.
Our roads have been transformed, our skyline is appealing and our streets are looking clean and neat - thank goodness for that!
Even our police and courts have upped their game. Their unwavering crackdown and speedy resolutions of certain crimes have given new meaning to access to justice.
So why am I feeling quite ambivalent about all these cosmetic and behavioural changes?
On the one hand I am filled with a sense of pride at seeing my countrywomen and men doing their best to prepare a warm reception for guests and make this World Cup memorable.
This is what we ought to do even in our homes. All families go the extra mile when hosting friends and family.
Suddenly the best china, crockery, cutlery and table cloths are dug out of boxes, the weeds in the garden are rooted out and the windows are washed to pristine conditions, just to impress guests.
So what we're doing as a country is in keeping with what we have been doing on a smaller scale in our homes.
But I cannot help being profoundly disappointed that we reserve our best for others and yet underestimate the importance of doing that for our very own. This shows that most of our problems are deliberate and reflect a lethargic attitude.
If it is possible to arrest criminals and prosecute them during the World Cup, then it should be possible to do the same at any time.
Keeping our streets clean is not rocket science and is clearly within our reach.
Why are we able to do it now and yet think nothing of soiling our streets with litter and all manner of rubbish?
Perhaps there is still a lot of littering being done, but obviously our local municipalities are vigilant and are dispatching resources to keep the streets immaculate.
So why does this not happen to the same extent at any other time? And let's not forget the smiles from staff at restaurants, cellphone providers and other retailers.
Over the last two weeks I have been greeted so warmly by the cashiers at tills that it is as if they have been waiting for me all day. Yet, at any other time, they continue their conversations at the top of their voices and yell at another colleague on the other side of the store.
Even when I greet them they sometimes just don't hear, but instead start scanning my purchases absent-mindedly. Then they declare, for my benefit I suppose, how tired they are or how their lunch hour is long overdue. Lunch at 10 in the morning, yeah right!
So what happens after the World Cup? Do we go back to treating our fellow citizens with contempt and disdain? One of the reasons this World Cup is so much bigger than just football is its ability to build our nation, renew our spirits, and teach us enduring lessons.
We reminisce about historic events precisely because they make an indelible mark on our collective consciousness.
We are all in our unique ways authors of history and it is up to each individual to make this occasion a historic event whose positive energy reverberates for years to come.
Long after the last visitor has jetted from our shores and the dust has settled, we will be living out our respective realities.
When tales of this event are being told over and over again, may they reflect that we were not just a host nation that was booted out in the first round, but we are also a nation that learnt the importance of treating our friends like family and our family like friends.
The South African family also deserves the best.